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This devotional is part of a series in January that tells stories of “Bold Faith” written by CBF field personnel and members of a team composed of clergy and laity from across the Fellowship who are leading of process of prayerful discovery that will result in a faithful response. Find out more about this process called Toward Bold Faithfulness.
By Karen Morrow
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4
“It’s time. We need to remove the tumor. It’s pushing on the brain stem,” said the neurosurgeon. After a long pause with tears streaming down her face, Nabeha responded, “Hanin is all I have. I can’t lose her.”
My dear friend Nabeha had been a translator with the U.S. army in Iraq and had been given asylum by the U.S. along with her husband and daughter Hanin. I met her a few weeks after she arrived in the U.S. at a large block party hosted by a partner church in one of the complexes where refugees were being resettled.
She invited me to visit her home and, upon arrival, she asked me if I was from “the church.” Not sure to what she was referring, I asked, “Which church?”
Nabeha replied that the U.S. soldiers had told her when she came to America to look for the church and the church would help them. I shared that I was a Christian and worked with many different churches that wanted to welcome and help them in any way we could.
Due to her command of the English language and with a servant’s heart, Nabeha became a woman of peace within the Iraqi community here. Culturally Muslim, yet open to learning more about the Christian faith, Nabeha opened her home to begin a Bible study for Iraqi Muslim and Christian women. She translated and made sure all the women understood as an elderly volunteer led the study. We shared our joys and sorrows and prayed for one another.
All the women were refugees of a war in which their families were the casualties. They grieved the loss of family members, homes, professions, etc. One of the repeated lessons we had was on forgiveness and the freedom and peace that God brings when we forgive those who have wronged us. They would then recount God’s faithfulness and blessings in their lives.
For Nabeha, God had faithfully protected her as she was deployed alongside the U.S. troops, while also protecting Hanin and her husband at home. God was faithful in providing for her family as they were granted asylum and resettled in Texas. God had placed her in Fort Worth with a world-class children’s hospital and renowned neurosurgeon.
Now God was asking Nabeha to boldly trust God with her daughter’s life as Hanin needed to undergo brain surgery to remove a tumor which could affect her speech, vision and hearing, with a high probability of paralysis. However, having no surgery meant possible death. I had accompanied Nabeha and Hanin on numerous visits to doctors as they monitored the tumor. My job was to listen, ask questions, and later recall what the doctors had said as Nabeha processed the recommendations.
During this last appointment, Nabeha turned to me and asked what she should do. My response was that this was in God’s hands and I reassured her of God’s love for her daughter. We could trust God to be faithful in protecting and healing Hanin.
Hanin had the tumor removed and there were complications from the surgery, but God has been faithful through months of rehabilitation. God has sheltered her with his wings and protected her and given her a future full of hope.
Today, Nabeha recounts God’s faithfulness to her family amidst all the struggles. We too can boldly trust God to be faithful in our lives and calling. God’s promises are our armor and protection.
Karen Morrow serves as a CBF field personnel in Fort Worth, Texas. You can learn about and support her work at www.cbf.net/morrow. Take a step in bold faith today and help shape the future of the Fellowship by taking CBF’s online survey today at www.cbf.net/survey.